Accent Stories

Rebecca Ribley


Class of 2014

Rebecca Ribley ’14 is an accomplished news anchor and an alumna of Ashland University. Over the past decade, she has built a successful career in journalism. Her journey from being a bureau reporter in Wausau, Wisconsin, to a prominent anchor position in Madison, Wisconsin’s capital city, highlights her tenacity, resourcefulness and commitment.

“You really don’t have anybody there to help you along,” she says about her role straight out of college. “You kind of have to learn on your own.” It was this spirit of resilience and adaptability that propelled her career forward, enabling her to quickly rise through the ranks from a bureau reporter to a weekend anchor and finally, to an anchor position for the weekday morning and evening news.

In Madison, her role expanded even further as she assumed the responsibilities of an executive producer for the morning show in addition to her anchor duties. Here, she not only reports the news but also plays a crucial part in managing a team and shaping the content of a show designed to bring value to the local audience. “We get our viewers and our community ready to start their day,” she says. “Hopefully, we put a smile on their face before they head out the door.” This varied role further highlighted Ribley’s leadership skills and dedication to providing high-quality news content.

Ashland University had a profound impact on Ribley’s personal and professional life. Despite choosing Ashland for its size and the instant connection she felt with the campus community, her time at the university was transformative in ways that still resonate a decade later. She developed lifelong friendships, joined a sorority and discovered her passion for theater. While appearing in eight stage productions during her time at the university– along with involvement with Ashland’s Drop of a Hat Players and women’s chorus–her initial pursuit of a theater degree changed when she found a passion for journalism–an interest that would eventually define her career path.

Ashland also stirred a sense of philanthropy within her, which she continues to honor by using her platform to give back. Ribley says, “I try to volunteer, I try to give back, I try to do stories on things that will help the community.”

Her time at Ashland was also enriched by a study abroad experience in Germany and valuable mentorships, which further broadened her perspective and honed her resilience.

“I found my people here,” she says. “My professors–and my advisors–got me believing in myself. They made me understand that what I wanted to do was possible. It was incredible.”

These experiences have left an indelible mark on Ribley, shaping her into the compassionate journalist she is today.

Regardless of the challenges she encounters, one thing remains constant: her dedication to making a difference every single day. Inspired by her involvement in Delta Zeta as an undergrad and the community improvement work she and her sisters participated in, Ribley is deeply involved in the local Special Olympics and other philanthropic initiatives in Madison and beyond.

Reflecting on her career, Ribley states, “The news is always changing. And it keeps you on your toes. So it never gets stale. But even beyond that, every day I leave work knowing that we’ve done something to make a difference. To tell the stories that people need to experience and make their lives better.” Her journey stands as a testament to the transformative power of seizing opportunities, the relentless pursuit of one’s passion and the power of embracing the kind and quality of experiences that only happen at Ashland.

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